Monday, June 27, 2016

Wilderness SP Red Pine & Nebo Trail Run

Red Pine Trail + Nebo Trail (North Country Trail segments)
Wilderness State Park
Trailhead Elevation: 601 ft.
Distance: 3.94 mi. (my Forerunner 230)
Elevation Gain: 73 ft. (my GPS)
Start Time: 6:36am
End Time: 7:22pm

Trip Report:

On our family's first Michigan U.P. trip our first stop actually had us still in the Lower Peninsula at Wilderness State Park. This proved to be a convenient meeting spot for one family from SE Michigan and one family from the Chicago area. I made it a goal on our family trip to get some morning trail runs in and so this morning I researched the maps at Wilderness. I would find during our U.P. trip that one of the wildly unknown treasures of Michigan is the North Country Trail. Though it is unfinished, and perhaps even unkempt in parts, it is a wonderful gift to have a trail that runs the entire length of our state and well into our neighboring states as well.

Here at Wilderness the NCT runs through the entire park, west to east. This morning I found that I could make a quick trot from our camp site to gain the NCT heading east. I gained it off a dirt road (Swamp Line Rd) and it wound along the north and east sides of a small pond. I also began to run into the convenient State Park trail junction markers which helped to get me started on my way. I tried to grab some beautiful early morning photos of the pond but the bugs were horrendous already and causing me an issue for any stop longer than a half second.

The NCT also became known as the Red Pine Trail for the first mile and a quarter and it was an easy to follow fairly easy forest trail with a few small ups and downs and turns as well as a few boardwalks. This popped me out onto an old road at Junction 10. This is where the NCT becomes the Nebo trail and I followed this south for about 3/4 of a mile to junction 11. There the NCT would continue east now becoming the East Ridge Trail. I decided that junction 11 was a good turnaround point for me this morning. I wasn't sure how early our group wanted to get going for the day and so I wanted to be back to get breakfast. It also happened that the bugs, including flies that would follow me as I ran were just a nuisance. I retraced my steps back to the camp area.

I would definitely enjoy returning to Wilderness S.P. to check out the other trails available here. I still need to explore along the coast and get out to the western tip of Waugoshance Point.


I have a track and waypoints from the hike all contained in a KML file that you are welcome to download and use (at your own risk).

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